World Championship Preview: Kyle Dake 79 kg
The World Championships takes place this September in Kazakhstan, starting on the 14th. Representing the United States at 79 kg will be Kyle Dake.
In order to secure his starting spot on the national team, Dake had to face off against Alex Dieringer is a special wrestle off that took place on August 17. This was due to Dake having an injury and requesting a delayed wrestled off which was granted, which is why we did not see Dake wrestle Dieringer at one of the Final X competitions.
Dake and Dieringer have a history of wrestling each other dating back to 2017. The first time they wrestled was in the finals of the Paris Grand Prix and Dake won 10-0 in a pretty dominant fashion. A couple months later at the 2017 U.S. Open, Dake won 3-0. In their third match at the 2017 World Team Trials, it was even closer with Dieringer finally scoring a point on Dake but still losing 1-2. In their fourth match that took place in the 2018 U.S. Open finals, the match ended 5-5 and Dake won on criteria. At their wrestle off, Dake won two straight matches with the score of 3-2 and 4-2, making Dake 6-0 against Dieringer.
So can Dake win a gold medal at the World Championships? Absolutely!
Even though Dake doesn’t have the largest international resume, he still has accomplished a lot domestically. When he was in college at Cornell, Dake won four NCAA titles and was the first to do it any four different weight classes: 141lbs, 149lbs, 157lbs, and 165lbs.
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In addition to his college wrestling, Dake is the returning world champion from last year at 79 kg and is currently ranked number one in the world according to United World Wrestling. Last year at the World Championships, Dake had four matches and outscored his opponents 37-0 with three tech falls leading up to his finals match. In his most recent international competition, Dake went 5-0 en route to winning the Spanish Grand Prix.
Beating Dieringer two times in a row is also another indicator that Dake is ready to win another gold medal. Currently, Dieringer is ranked fourth in the world, but based on his recent performances at international competition, he looks like he should be ranked in the top three, and if Dieringer had beat Dake out for the spot at 79 kg, he had a great chance of winning gold too. So by Dake beating Dieringer, he has already taken out one of the biggest, if not the biggest threat to him winning another world title.
So what should we expect to see of Dake at the World Championships?
Based on his recent performances, expect Dake to run through his first couple of matches with tech falls. He has shown he is incredibly patient and incredibly difficult to score on, so we will probably see him score a lot of points based off his opponent’s offensive attempts. At this point in his career, it would be very disappointing for Dake to bring home anything other than a gold medal. Look for Dake to have a very impressive and dominating performance where he will bring home his second world championship.
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